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This article was published April 3, 2014 at 2:49 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I use the inexpensive shower-curtain rings to hang things all over the house. I hang my mops, brooms and gardening tools. I also use them in my sewing room for rulers, tape measures and scissors. They work great to hang scarves on a hanger, or ribbon or necklaces. The possibilities are endless.

  • Valerie, North Little Rock

DEAR HELOISE: I’ve read in your column several times to not use hot water to flush the garbage disposal after running it. I often do it with hot water because I am multitasking and rinsing the sponge or hand-washing a pan right after the disposal runs. What is the reason for not using hot water?

  • Debra M., via email

DEAR READER: Generally, you want to use cold water when running food down the garbage disposal. If what you are grinding has grease or fat, using hot water will simply “liquefy” it, and then it will become a solid piece further down the plumbing. Doing this over and over can cause a big plumbing problem later on. Trust me, I learned this from my husband, David (a retired plumbing and heating contractor).

DEAR HELOISE: We have hard water, and I need one of your great hints to clean my shower heads.

  • D.M., Gervais, Ore.

DEAR READER: To get rid of lime and hard-water buildup on a shower, all you need is one of my favorite products - vinegar. Remove the shower head, if possible, and soak in a bowl of full strength vinegar overnight. If you can’t remove the shower head, tie a bag full of vinegar around it. In the morning, the shower head should be clean. You may need to scrub with a brush to get some of the buildup off.

I have a wonderful assortment of things you can do with vinegar. Toilet bowl need cleaning? Pour in full-strength vinegar, leave for five to 10 minutes, then scrub and flush.

DEAR HELOISE: I thought I would take a minute to contribute what I know about removing stuck-on shelf paper. Just use an ordinary hair blow-dryer. Heat up the paper with the airflow set on “hot.” It will soften right away. Lift an edge with your finger or a scraper and pull. It will come right off until it cools down again, at which time one can reapply the hot air.

  • N.B., via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Weekend, Pages 34 on 04/03/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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